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Northern California officers face discipline in sex scandal

14 September 2016, 09:47

San Francisco — A Northern California police department is disciplining several officers implicated in a sex scandal with a self-described teen prostitute.

The Richmond Police announced Monday night that it had investigated 11 current and former officers' relationship with the teen, whose mother is an Oakland Police dispatcher.

Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown said he is attempting to fire some of them while recommending counseling for others. The chief didn't name the officers nor specify how many faced discipline, noting that some of those investigated were cleared of wrongdoing.

Richmond is about 17.7 kilometers northeast of San Francisco.

The announcement in Richmond comes less than a week after Alameda County district attorney Nancy O'Malley said she plans to charge seven officers from three other agencies with sex crimes and unauthorized access of criminal databases.

O'Malley said she won't formally file charges until the teen is released from a Florida jail, where she is being held on a misdemeanor assault charge. O'Malley said the 19-year-old is a key witness in the criminal case whose testimony is crucial if any of the defendants plead not guilty and go to trial.

The teen says she had sex with 30 San Francisco Bay Area officers, four them when she was younger than 18.

The Associated Press generally doesn't publish the names of sex crime victims.

Also read: Prosecutor to charge 7 officers in sex scandal

The Richmond police arranged for the 19-year-old woman to enroll in an in-patient addiction treatment center in Stuart, Florida late last month. O'Malley and others criticized the department's involvement in sending the teen across the country amid several investigations.

Richmond's chief has declined numerous requests to comment on the department's involvement in sending the teen to a drug treatment center across the country. The chief said in a public letter to Richmond's mayor and city council that the teen's trip and treatment was paid for by a state crime victim's fund.

The teen was arrested on Aug. 29 after allegedly biting a security guard at the center three days after arriving. She was initially charged with felony battery and held on $300,000 bail.

Prosecutors reduced the charge to a misdemeanor on Monday, eliminating the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.

Florida prosecutor David Lustgarten said the teen now faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail. Lustgarten says he is awaiting a response from the teen's public defender to a proposed plea deal that could resolve the Florida case and pave the way for her return to Northern California.

Her public defender Matthew Vasko declined comment.

- AP


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